Band of Horses - Everything All the Time (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Band of Horses

Everything All the Time (2006)

Sub Pop

Indie rock may very well be the hardest genre to make a true impact in. It's a label that encompasses an immeasurable wealth of artists, all wanting in some way or another to leave their mark on the world. Most come and go without so much as a notice, but there are those select few that do have an honest opportunity to permanently brand their name into the indie rock fabric. Given some time, and the right push, Band of Horses could very well be one of those bands.

The cover art of the band's newest record, whether they know it or not, is the perfect symbolism for the 10 songs to be found on Everything All the Time. The covert art spoken of depicts a beautiful forest, and the album, much like the setting shown, is a very serene, relaxed environment. The further you venture in, the quieter things become, and the more entrenched you become in the beauty of your surroundings.

In no song does this ring more true than the morose "The Funeral." Vocalist Ben Bridwell, a man that will surely garner a lot of Shins' comparisons, shows beauty not only in his tone and delivery, but in the repetition of such lines as "And every occasion I will be ready for the funeral," a line that displays the caution and trepidation that can come from each and every day. It's such a simple concept, but rarely is it so eloquently put to words. Bridwell can't steer this ship alone, though; the mood of an entire album can't rest on the shoulders of only one member of a band. That's fine, as his band-mates are all too willing to contribute their respective talents, and make each song a new journey unto itself. The shimmering rhythms and "whoo-oh"s of "The Funeral" seem to contrast the lyrical content, but it's really just part of their charm.

"Part One," the following track, does a terrific job of illustrating the ups and downs of this record, as the much more mellow musical arrangements let Bridwell's despondent musings come to the forefront. And no matter how low things sound, there's always that one touch of hope on the outer reaches of the song, be it just a poppier change in chord progressions, or one lyric at the end of the song, it's always something. The country twang of the guitars and extremely slow pace of "Monsters" is picked up right at the end with the repeated line of "if i am lost it's only for a little while...;" Bidwell's great range and terrific harmonies are just the perfect combination once again.

More than any one distinguishable element, there's a real aura given off by the record. Beauty? Yes. Talented musicianship? Yes. Great songwriting? Yes, but the unshakeable, intangible feelings and warmth felt when listening to this record says more than any well-crafted pop song could ever hope to.